The Trump White House made a bad thing worse when, after enacting a disastrous and ill-thought-out executive order banning Muslims it contradicted itself on whether or not the ban was a ban, with Trump saying it is a ban and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying it is not.
Trump this morning attempted to cut through the self-inflicted wound by clarifying that his executive order is not a ban but simply keeps “bad people” out of the country. You know, like a ban. Here’s his tweet:
Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2017
This is an appalling use of logic, which is to say, it is completely illogical to say something that functions exactly like a ban is not a ban. Rather than answering any questions, Trump only made matters worse.
The truth is, he put little or no thought into the original order, as Mark Cuban said, “it calls into question the management skills of the guy in charge.”
He followed this up with an inexcusable lack of communication by saying one thing and allowing his voice, his press secretary, to say something else. Such a thing was unthinkable under President Obama. Now in this latest tweet, Trump has told us we can call it what we want, but it is a ban because it functions exactly like a ban.
This is where it stands now, as CNN’s David Wright parses it for us:
Trump, Monday: “The ban…”
Spicer, Tuesday: “That’s not a ban.”
Trump, Wednesday: “Call it what you want.”
Tomorrow, it might be something different. It depends on how eager Trump is to put his foot in his mouth – again. So…
X, Thursday: “???”
Next time, Donald Trump might want to try something completely alien to him, a “mea culpa” and an acceptance of personal responsibility for the mixed messages sent by his administration. As it is, he is only making himself an object of further ridicule.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.